This article on ‘Online Law Journals: Your Guide to Digital Legal Research’ is a guide for law students. Are you willing to submit a paper for publication in a Journal? Check the Submission Guidelines.
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Legal publications and journals, which were formerly exclusively available in a few libraries, can now be readily accessible over a computer network. The environment of law is changing in the age of technology, with internet portals replacing conventional means of legal study and exposure to legal content. The introduction of online law journals is one such noteworthy breakthrough.
In this study, the researcher has underlined how online law journals aid in the smooth and efficient conduct of legal research. As more legal practitioners and scholars appreciate the ease and efficacy of internet-based tools, it is critical to recognise the multiple benefits that come with them.
This article will assist readers in understanding the notion of legal research, the relevance of the use of online law journals in conducting legal research, the perks of online law journals, and some points to keep in mind while using journals available on the digital platform.
WHAT IS LEGAL RESEARCH?
When most people envision attorneys, they see someone in a black overcoat presenting his point vehemently in the courtroom of law. However, pleading or presenting a lawsuit before a court is only a small part of an attorney’s working life. Behind that hearing in the courtroom comes a massive amount of study, evaluation, investigation of the facts, and legal research.
Legal research is an essential aspect of the lives of all legal practitioners, whether they are law learners, attorneys, or scholars. It is a vast field that results in persistent exploration and study by judges, attorneys, learners of law, and law scholars in their pursuit of a broader and more extensive comprehension of the legal system. Research on law enters the spotlight to aid in lawful decision-making processes. It tracks and obtains the material to make the complicated procedure simpler.
RELEVANCE OF ONLINE LAW JOURNALS IN LEGAL RESEARCH
To succeed in this age of technology as legal experts, it’s imperative to cope with and accept innovation. The range of material that is only released online will keep expanding and play a bigger role in the informational context. There are several reasons for the transition to digital publication and virtual dispersion, encompassing technological and financial aspects. The effectiveness of the research process is further enhanced by simple access to a wide range of journals.
PERKS OF ONLINE LAW JOURNALS
- Rapid access to a broad spectrum of law-related publications: The Online Journal gives rapid access to a large collection of law publications. It enables easy evaluation of an extensive variety of substances.
- Low cost: Approaches that are centred on membership are frequently offered by online journals and are typically less expensive than paying for specific legal textbooks or publications.
- Preservation and maintenance: Preservation by digital transformation is a lasting option over tangible collection.
- Time retention: By using the internet, one may retain a large amount of time for analysis. Rather than manually browsing across several journals, the hunt tool may be used to swiftly identify important material within a few moments.
- Availability at all times: This option is always available and may be used whenever someone wishes to hunt in the digital realm. At all times, the web is easily accessible.
- Advancement is the next phase: Advancements in technology have improved the way we live. Everything is shifting from the actual or offline realm to gadget displays. Getting meals and home stuff, as well as learning online is now possible.
In addition to the many benefits that online journals provide, there are certain limitations as well, such as:
- Inaccurate and unreliable tools for searching that could take longer to operate than services that charge a fee.
- It demands time to go through and analyse enormous quantities of literary work, papers, and journals.
- One of the key problems is that there isn’t always easy exposure to exceptional papers from referenced or highly influential journals.
KEY STANDARDS FOR ASSESSING LEGAL JOURNALS ON THE WEB
- Substance: A resource’s substance needs to be responsive.
- Authenticity: Authenticity may be assessed using characteristics such as originality, research particularization and accomplishment, institutional and academic association, peer-reviewed publications, and editors.
- Thinking strategically: This entails asking questions such as Is this a peer-reviewed paper? Is this a legal journal? And does the writer provide a comprehensive evaluation of the source? These are certain things to consider while using an online journal.
- References: References are inclined to be deeper in essence than recreational or editorial sources. As a result, scholars should prioritise sources with references.
- Intellectual protection: It is possible for a person or an organisation to assert ownership and accountability for something that has been granted intellectual protection.
- Background: It is important to consider the geo-political, legitimate, cognitive, and historic backgrounds while evaluating legal materials on the internet. This is crucial to making sure that the specific journal has the right background information.
To succeed in this age of technology as legal experts, it’s imperative to adopt and acknowledge innovation. By adopting these innovations, firms may increase efficiency, optimise operations, and consequently provide enhanced customer services. The following suggestions will help in the efficient use of online law journals:
- Prioritise efficiency: Always strike a ratio between material costs and time on hand. Use a thorough, often revised, user-friendly, free journal only if one is comfortable with such a source. However, if one is aware that the data he wants is easily accessible in printed matter or in a publication that requires payment, he must use that option instead. If one can’t discover free content easily and periodically, one must refrain from spending time looking for it.
- Determine credibility: While depending on content from an electronic platform, it is critical to examine it with skepticism and evaluate certain factors to ensure that the material is credible and accurate. Only after establishing its credibility may that journal be used.
The current study has shown how online journals are being used in the area of law-related research and how they are developing as the digital landscape for legal research. The age of technology has resulted in significant developments in the sector of law. As per the study, most legal specialists appreciate the exposure to online journals, and the majority of intellectuals favour them over paper-based publications because they cut time, make tasks simpler, lead to higher-quality research, and allow learners to locate more content. One of the key advantages is the availability and variety of journals available on the web.
It is asserted that legal practitioners can shorten their research procedures and improve the caliber of their work by utilising online journals. Furthermore, law students have recourse to a wide choice of papers to supplement their coursework and go further into their domains of expertise. One may effectively navigate this disruptive landscape by appreciating technological innovations and dedicating themselves to endless learning.
- Surbhi Jindal, “All you need to Know about Legal Research”, iPleaders Blog, 19 November 2021, available at: https://blog.ipleaders.in/all-you-need-know-about-legal-research/ (Last visited on July 4, 2023).
- “The Internet as a Legal Research Tool”, Private Law Librarians & Information Professionals, 5 July 2015, available at: https://pllresourceguides.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/internet-pll-guide-v1-2.pdf (Last visited on July 4, 2023).
- “How online legal libraries are revolutionizing legal research in India”, EBC Reader, available at: https://ebc.co.in/how-online-legal-libraries-are-revolutionizing-legal-research-in-india/ (Last visited on July 4, 2023).